Recently I started attending a lot of webinars.
The reason being, I wanted to learn what other presenters were doing well that I could reciprocate in my own webinars. After all, with 60% of marketers using webinars for their content strategy, there must be some really excellent speakers making use of this form of content.
Image Source: Beam Chart Maker
But you know what I found out instead?
Many webinar hosts don’t have very good presentation skills. This is frustrating for me, because when I think of a webinar, I think of three very specific things. A webinar:
- Generates high-value leads
- Builds engagement for those leads
- And then converts those leads into buyers
Some people assume that you don’t need to be a great presenter to host a webinar. Those people are wrong.
You need to be a great presenter, and you need to know your content inside and out.
Instead of wasting time trying to convince you why you need to be a good presenter, I’m just going to tell you what you can do to improve your overall webinar skills. If you want to put on a really great (and successful) webinar that actually converts leads into engaged buyers, you want to keep the following four tips in mind.
Start With The Problem
If you don’t already have a specific topic in mind for your webinar, start by first identifying why people might even sign up for your session to begin with. They likely have a problem, and they hope you might have the solution.
Your job is to not only identify that problem, but agitate that problem.
You may have heard of Foundr Magazine. They are an entrepreneurship magazine and they offer a webinar on how to get more followers on Instagram. Nathan Chan, the CEO of Foundr, spent more than a year learning how to grow one’s following on Instagram organically, and he succeeded tremendously.
So he created a webinar to help others grow their Instagram following as well. The problem was simple; people wanted more followers. He would provide the solution.
Image source: Foundr Magazine
And during his webinar, Nathan even showed specific examples of how he converted those Instagram followers into quality leads, and eventual buyers of his products.
But here’s the thing, it’s not enough just to tell people that the problem exists. You need to show them just how big of a problem it is, and what the consequences are of not using your solution. You need to help them understand that what they are currently doing isn’t helping their case.
Yes, it would be nice to grow your Instagram following, but Nathan shows you that if you don’t grow your Instagram following, you will miss out on a massive opportunity to make money. This is agitating the problem.
Choose a Specific Angle
Once you’ve identified and agitated the problem your audience is facing, you need to figure out a specific angle for presenting your webinar.
Here’s another example:
A few months ago I hosted a webinar for Mention. The webinar was about using visual content to connect with influencers and boost your rankings.
Image source: Mention
What was the problem my audience was facing? They wanted to learn how to network with influencers and boost their search visibility. There are plenty of blog posts and webinars out there that claim to have all the answers for solving this issue, but I decided to take a very specific and niche route. I used visual content as the angle.
It allowed me to narrow down the focus of the content. As a result, the webinar was super actionable, and attendees were able to take away specific tactics that they could then implement into their own strategies.
By choosing a very specific angle, you open up the possibilities of providing actual value to your audience. In doing so, they are more likely to remember what you taught them and apply it later.
A Script Can do Wonders
Many people who are not natural presenters freak out when it comes to doing a webinar. If you are one of those people who gets sweaty palms, a dry throat and starts stuttering out of nowhere, this part is for you.
You can script everything and read your notes.
Unlike a live presentation, a webinar allows you to isolate yourself in your room or office without even showing your face to the world. Scripting your webinar may be time-consuming, but if this is a webinar your repeat frequently, it would be well worth the time.
The last thing you want to do is come off as a nervous wreck to potential clients and customers. Instead, prepare what you are going to say and avoid the ums, ahs, and likes.
Don’t Underestimate the Power of Rehearsal
I have a background in theatre, and if I learned anything from my four years studying the subject, it’s that there is no such thing as too much rehearsal.
But surprisingly, some people I’ve spoken to, who aren’t seasoned public speakers have told me that they just ‘wing it’.
Were their webinars terrible? No, not necessarily.
But were they fantastic? Was I raving about their virtual session to everyone I know? Not at all. They were just okay.
Because they didn’t rehearse! I mentioned that scripting your webinar is totally doable, but the next step is rehearsing it. You don’t want to eat your own words when virtually speaking with hundreds or thousands of people. Whether you are reading your script word for word, or following cue cards, you need to rehearse in order to inject proper tonality and personality in your words. If not for that, at least to make sure your sounds and slides are working well.
Sounding like a robot is bad. Sounding like someone confident and personable is good.
Practice your webinars and people will be holding onto every word.
If you were speaking at a live event with thousands of people in a room, eagerly staring into your soul, would you not make sure that your talk was perfect? Probably.
Just because a webinar takes place online doesn’t mean that you aren’t talking to real people. If you want to be remembered and you want your brand to be remembered, you need to be able to give the performance of your life; virtual or not. When you prepare for your webinars, people notice it. And when they sit in on other webinars, they will remember yours in comparison because it was so much better.
Featured Image: Infographic design via Venngage.com, used with permission.